House Rules Re: [FoRK] The drum beat continues
Dr. Ernie Prabhakar <
drernie at radicalcentrism.org
> on >
Fri Nov 17 08:25:40 PST 2006
On Nov 16, 2006, at 6:02 PM, Stephen D. Williams wrote:
> True enough. I think that avoiding being based on faith is not
> just a tiny difference, but fundamental and pervasive,
See, that is where you completely lost me. As far as I can tell,
Dawkins is motivated by "faith in the scientific method" in precisely
the same way his adversaries are motivated by "faith in God." You
can't see the scientific method any more than I can see God (perhaps
less :-P), but that doesn't mean neither of them are real.
As a physicist, I have great faith in the scientific method and the
power of mathematics to explain the universe, but I am fully aware
that this is something I *choose* to believe. And I work extremely
hard to ensure my faith in God remains just as theoretically rigorous
and empirically sound as my other beliefs (and vice versa).
> but on top of that the mechanisms of discourse are pretty much the
> same a fair amount of the time.
Okay, fair enough. Thanks.
>> Kinda like House. Yeah, sometimes it is what people need. But
>> sometimes he uses and abuses people just to satisfy his own ego,
>> regardless of "truth" or "right." And I don't think he always
>> knows which is which.
> Possibly. It's hard to say. The writers delight in making it look
> that way all the time and then at least part of the time revealing
> that he had perfectly good intentions and was not squeamish about
> making others uncomfortable and challenged to get there.
True, but they also delight in giving him his comeuppance at the end
of many episodes. My favorite was the cancer girl whom [SPOILER
ALERT] he was sure was only brave because of brain damage. :-)
> I think that "just to satisfy his own ego" needs to be
> deconstructed a lot more. There is plenty of evidence that House
> wants and needs to be right. There is a lot less that he does so
> for recognition (pride, narcissism, etc.).
Um, I think we're defining "ego" a little differently. If you mean
ego as "needing strokes from other people", then yeah, absolutely,
House is not guilty of that. But egocentrism and narcissism are not
about external recognition but satisfying the self's need to feel
good about itself, regardless of the cost to others. Heck, if you
read your article on narcissism, you should recall that it was about
self-worship, not seeking worship from others:
As far as I can tell, House fits both those articles to a "T" (except
for his brief moments of remorse at the end of the episode, while the
music's playing :-). Would you disagree?
> I interpret his drive as needing to make a positive difference, to
> demonstrate his value to himself by being right and saving people,
> and making maximum benefit while essentially preventing plaudits.
I think the evidence -- including his own statements -- are far more
consistent with his *primary* drive being "to the need to be
right" (which, speaking from experience, is a drug more powerful that
Vicodin :-). Sure, we're all glad that he's in a profession where
that drive usually saves lives, but (as in last year's season finale)
I think even he realizes that sometimes his obsession causes a great
deal of unnecessary pain.
> sdw - not humble or meek, but setting tough goals and happily
> screwing up and falling short of my own expectations about every
> other minute and diligently trying to point out my own faults
> before anyone can beat me to it.
I can point out my own faults faster than you can point out yours.
-- Ernie "recovering egocentrist" Prabhakar
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